Dreams can be used to overcome fears, practice inner work, solve problems, and explore your life purpose. The use of lucid dreaming has existed for thousands of years and is scientifically proven. This dates back to the yogis of Tibetan Buddhism who used this type of dreaming to experience the nature of reality. This article will offer advice and techniques to start lucid dreaming so you too can build self-awareness, spiritual healing, and self-love.
Lucid Dreaming Defined
Lucid dreaming is basically becoming conscious during a dream state. This can lead to intense feelings of freedom and exhilaration. The best part is you can control the dream’s outcome. You are only limited by your imagination and mind. Below, the methods of exactly how to do this are shared. However, before you start maintaining conscious awareness in dreams, you must do some mental exercises to make it easier to induce the lucid dream state.
- Experiencing the World Exercise – This exercise sharpens the five senses and will help lucid dreams be more vivid and vibrant. Basically, you must practice consciousness to become conscious in a dream state. This means becoming aware of what you sense every day. Tune into every shape, color, and movement. Listen to every sound, pitch, and the intensity with which it is produced. Feel every texture, temperature, weight, and feeling as you move about. Taste different foods to experience bitter, sweet, creamy, crunchy, and smooth. Smell all odors, good, bad, and in between. Also become aware of yourself through your thoughts, emotions, and even breathing.
- Asking the Golden Question Exercise – This one is simple. As you go about your day ask yourself if you are dreaming or awake in the moment. Try to justify your answer to build the habit of testing consciousness so it can be brought into the dream state. You will soon ask yourself this when dreaming. Planning helps you test reality.
- Dream Journal Exercise – You must be able to recall your dreams to become a lucid dreamer. Each morning, for two weeks straight, wake up and immediately record your dreams in as much detail as possible, even if they sound odd. These will later help trigger lucid dreams. Look for dream signs which are impossible dream peculiarities that seem to recur.
Now that you have laid the groundwork, it is time to look at lucid dreaming techniques. Only a few are shared below, but these are the best options for getting started.
- Autosuggestion – This technique involves making suggestions to yourself that you will have a lucid dream on a given night. This is done while in a relaxed state and after clearing the mind right before sleep. The goal is to prepare yourself to expect a lucid dream. This is highly effective with those who are easy to hypnotize. Make sure not to try too hard or the opposite result may be achieved.
- MILD Technique – This stands for Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams and can be used with the other technique to increase the chance of a lucid dream. This is based on the principle that we remember to do things daily so we can while sleeping as well. We do this through mnemonic associations to sharpen our memory. Start with memory training by looking for a specific target during the day, like a barking dog or phone ringing. When the target occurs, ask yourself if you are dreaming and justify the answer. Use a dream journal to record the targets you hit during the day. After a week, take this to the dream world. Next, resolve to wake up and recall each dream and do so. When going back to sleep, concentrate on telling yourself you want to remember your dreams and focus only on this desire. Just before falling asleep, visualize your last dream and a common dream sign. Fall asleep with this intention.
- WILDS Technique – This stands for Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreams which helps you fall asleep consciously. You will move directly into a lucid dream state. This starts by focusing on pre-sleep mental images when you are close to sleep, but not yet fully asleep. The images may seem fleeting, but observe anyway. When they become cohesive, the idea is to let yourself be drawn into the dream world. This requires practice, but you will get it eventually. Try to remain detached and passive. If you force it, the images will disappear. Keep repeating the phrase “I’m dreaming” as you fall asleep in a relaxed state.
- Focusing on the Flame – This requires constant visualization and works best for those with vivid minds. Start by totally relaxing your body and mind. Then, visualize a flame of fire in your throat. Observe how the flame interacts with other images that come to mind. Maintain this visualization. Contemplate the flame until you see it. Some people find it helpful to focus on a candle flame first so the image is clear in the mind.
Staying in the Dream World
It is common for people to wake up immediately after a lucid dream begins. This can be frustrating, but it is also possible to overcome. Try the following to stay in a dream state.
- Focus on your senses other than vision in the dream.
- Remind yourself you are dreaming often.
- Spin around as fast as possible in your dream.
- Listen to your dream body breathe.
Harnessing the Power of Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreaming intrigues the mind, but it can be used for more than fun. It can be used to further your spiritual path and improve quality of life. This includes things like overcoming fears and healing the inner child. Below are some possibilities of lucid dreaming.
- Real-Life Skills – Lucid dreaming has been used by many as a rehearsal for life. Use this type of dreaming to improve the skills you most need. It is a vivid form of visualization that can enhance motor skills. It has been proven that new skills can be learned by thinking about them and that new neural pathways are formed during this type of rehearsal. You can perfect the actions in your dreams, risk free. You can also lower performance anxiety because there is no threat in a dream state. You program patterns in the dream and real life is positively affected. Before bed, think about what you want to practice and focus your intention. Use an induction technique shared before and once lucid, navigate your dream to the skill you want to practice. Then, practice your skill and push the boundaries without risk or judgement.
- Problem Solving – From solving intellectual problems to working through nightmares, lucid dreaming can enhance your waking life. Lucid dreaming taps into the unconscious knowledge that we cannot typically access while conscious. Start this by choosing and memorizing a problem you want to solve before bed. Turn this into a question and then use an induction technique previously shared. Once lucid, seek a solution and look for someone or something that will help. Once your satisfied upon waking, reflect on the answer throughout the day. The solution is often hidden, but present.
- Overcoming Nightmares – Crippling nightmares keep sleep from some people, but lucid dreaming can abolish the power they hold. During lucid dreaming, approach the hostile dream figures and talk to them. This often transforms the characters into something harmless or they disappear.
- Explore the Meaning of Life – Lucid dreaming can help you explore the meaning of life. While it is impossible to know how valid the information is, it is a fascinating way to explore your curiosity. Before going to sleep, focus on an affirmation or question like Why am I here? or Guide me to light. Use an induction technique and once lucid, repeat the question or affirmation. Be receptive in the dream and go with where it takes you. Upon waking, take time to journal.
- Heal Your Inner Child – The inner child is the original self that carries all the joy, wisdom, and creativity. It can also be the root of anger, grief, loneliness, and addictions. Lucid dreaming allows you to work on these issues. Before going to bed, think about the intention to meet your inner child in your dreams. Focus on this and use an induction technique. Once lucid, navigate your dream to a safe space. Request out loud to speak to your inner child. Be gentle, they may be shy. They may also appear in disguise so ask if it is them. Be friendly and warm and ask if they need anything. Be generous and listen carefully. Be patient as you talk and remember it may take a few sessions to really get to know them.
Lucid Dreaming Common Questions
There are some common questions around lucid dreaming. One of which is how to interpret the lucid dreams. There are numerous ways like meditation, journaling, inducing another lucid dream for answers, or guided visualization. Lucid dreaming is unique with little to compare it to, but it is helpful and exhilarating. However, if you have a mental illness it may not be safe. If you want to introduce music to help with lucid dreaming, try biaural beats to target theta brainwave state. Above all, remember that lucid dreaming can help with every day issues or deeper aspects of our inner selves.